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Bad thermapen luck

njlnjl Posts: 884
One of the things I was introduced to here is the Thermapen meat thermometer, which after using one, I wonder how I did without.  Unfortunately, my original has what I assume is a bad wire/solder in it, and after nearly a year of use, it "got buggy" and won't turn on unless the probed is opened up to just the right position.  I got an RMA from Thermoworks, but just didn't want to be without it...so I kept on using it.  Eventually, I upgraded to a backlit thermapen, putting the original in the back of the drawer as my backup. 

Last night, I went to use the backlit one, and it was freaking out.  Upon opening the probe, it flashed a temp, then a much lower temp, then a negative temp, then Lo, then Err.  No problem, I thought...the batteries must have gotten too low.  I'll just put in another set.  Fresh batteries made no difference.  So, now I have about $200 worth of really fancy, but not usable meat thermometers.

Is it just bad luck, or have others had their thermapens crap out after a year or a couple?  Is there anything comparable that will outlast more than a few sets of batteries?
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Comments

  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 17,677
    edited June 11
    I’ll never buy another. My pen has been rebuilt 2 times and has crapped out within months each time. I do like the pop though at 75% less money. Had one for years with zero issues. Paid $24.99 for it. 

    I saw the Lava Tools guy post a discount for their pen style thermo last week. Looks nice and half the price of the thermapen. 


    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • Grill66Grill66 Posts: 15
    My thermapen has the exact same issue. I'll never buy another one.
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 2,971
    edited June 12
    I've bought 4 thermopens( MK4) and they get abused, no issues ...i Did just get my Javelin Pro ( 2 of them) in the mail today, well built and half the price
    Visalia, Ca
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 17,677
    Interesting. This is absolutely the first negative T-pen thread I have ever seen. Mine has been fine for at least 8 years except the case is cracked. Not bad and it still works fine. Haven't even had to replace the batteries... in EIGHT years! I recently bought a Lavatools so I'd have one to use while I sent the T-pen in for repair. Haven't sent it yet.
    I would have never brought it up myself but I figured mine was a one-off. Mine was a turd after 6 months. Rebuilt for $35...crapped out in 6 months. Rebuilt again...3 months and crapped out again. They have been good about rebuilding it for $35 but I have $200 in that pen and it’s dead in a drawer. Highly recommend the pop though. No moving parts. That’s the whole reason I didn't jump on the lavatools deal. I don’t see what could possibly be gained by having a folding probe and I have had bad luck with mine. Find me a better thermo than the pop for $25 and I’m all in.  
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,207
    A few years in on mine, so far no issues. It gets used multiple times a week. 
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,047
    My original TP is doing the same thing.  Changed batteries with no luck.  The pop is holding up great and the MK4 is doin good. 

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • stevezstevez Posts: 90
    This is the first ever negative I've ever read here or anywhere, yet I've always struggled with getting consistent readings.  I've tested it and know it registers properly but I can get the strangest temp readings.  I know I'm inserting it correctly and consistently.  I almost always have to get another meat thermometer to try and check it.  I just haven't been as impressed as others seem to be. 
    Steve

    X/L BGE

    Louisville, Kentucky
  • LitLit Posts: 6,893
    Mine is probably 6-8 years old and it does the thing where it doesn’t turn on when it’s opened to certain points but it always works when fully open. Like a year ago I accidentally left it outside in the rain for 2 weeks and thoughtfor sure it was dead but after it dried out it worked fine again. I will get a pop once it does die I’m not dropping another $100.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,048
    Sounds like the expected QC isn't what it used to be. I'd bet dollars to donuts that the new ones are from China. I have 1 older and 1 "newer" Thermapens which are both now 15 and 11 years old. Both are still using the original batteries that came with them!

    OTOH I bought one of the first of their "TimeSticks" and also a "TrioTimeStick" and both of those crapped out and to the companies credit both were replaced. BUT both of those replacements crapped out as well.


    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 17,677
    RRP said:
    Sounds like the expected QC isn't what it used to be. I'd bet dollars to donuts that the new ones are from China. I have 1 older and 1 "newer" Thermapens which are both now 15 and 11 years old. Both are still using the original batteries that came with them!

    OTOH I bought one of the first of their "TimeSticks" and also a "TrioTimeStick" and both of those crapped out and to the companies credit both were replaced. BUT both of those replacements crapped out as well.


    Even worse. Mine was made in the UK. 
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 393
    I had 2 of their timers that conked out in under a year with very light use. Thermapen is still going strong but if I had to do it over again I'd just get the Thermopop. I have 2 and they work equally well as the Thermapen for cooking and it's only $29.  
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,934
    RRP said:
    Sounds like the expected QC isn't what it used to be. I'd bet dollars to donuts that the new ones are from China. I have 1 older and 1 "newer" Thermapens which are both now 15 and 11 years old. Both are still using the original batteries that came with them!

    OTOH I bought one of the first of their "TimeSticks" and also a "TrioTimeStick" and both of those crapped out and to the companies credit both were replaced. BUT both of those replacements crapped out as well.


    Thermapens are still made in England.

    Much of the other stuff sold by Thermoworks in the US is made in China.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    Interesting. This is absolutely the first negative T-pen thread I have ever seen. Mine has been fine for at least 8 years except the case is cracked. Not bad and it still works fine. Haven't even had to replace the batteries... in EIGHT years! I recently bought a Lavatools so I'd have one to use while I sent the T-pen in for repair. Haven't sent it yet.
    Something changed somewhere. My old pre-egg T-pen works fine, the five year old one has gone thru the same fail as the OP mentions. Absolute POS.  
    You have to hold your head just so, with fingers crossed to get the damn thing to read. 
    Have both Lavatools Javelins, the 2.5 probe and the 4. One is about a year old still working fine, the other only about six months. We will see. 

    Much to @RRP dismay, the javelins are china made, the feel and action is excellent.

    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,048
    Ok OK OKAY! Looks like I have bet too many dollars to donuts! (However the cheapest donut I can now buy at my Dunkin Donuts cost me $1.17 so maybe my bet will be picked up and taken over by some bookie somewhere! =)
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • FockerFocker Posts: 8,268
    Interesting. This is absolutely the first negative T-pen thread I have ever seen. Mine has been fine for at least 8 years except the case is cracked. Not bad and it still works fine. Haven't even had to replace the batteries... in EIGHT years! I recently bought a Lavatools so I'd have one to use while I sent the T-pen in for repair. Haven't sent it yet.
    Similar history here.
    My Gen 1 is over 10 years old, replaced the batteries once. 
    The Gen 2 pen is maybe 5 years old, original batteries.  
    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 6,332
    Going on 8 years with mine. Sorry to hear about your Thermapen issues. I've only heard good things with the warranty department. Hopefully they get you back up and running 
  • FastfishFastfish Posts: 25
    Mine is 3 years old now. I love me thermapen. Mine works great if I open it slowly. Open it too fast and it shuts off. I just learned how to make it work.
  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,464
    edited June 12
    Fastfish said:
    Mine is 3 years old now. I love me thermapen. Mine works great if I open it slowly. Open it too fast and it shuts off. I just learned how to make it work.
    I think a $100 thermo should work every time no matter how fast you open it. 
    Agree. Two of mine (out of 3) have been acting like this and I thought it was just me. I picked up a Javelin Pro a little while ago and I like that it resumes on motion after the timeout vs having to close and open again like the Thermapen. I know the new MK4 works like this now, but the Javelin Pro was cheap.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 2,971
    So it sounds like the tpen issues are with the non mk4 model? Other than the pop is there still something between,that and the 4?
    Visalia, Ca
  • mEGG_My_DaymEGG_My_Day Posts: 505
    My first one lasted about 10 years and then crapped out.  I am two years into my second and all is fine so far.  I agree with some of the above comments - I'd opt for the thermopop if I was in the market today. 

    Also - and not to threadjack - when did Thermoworks hire the marketing director from JoS A. Bank??? They have a sale about every week. 
    Memphis, TN 
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,127
    I had a 1st Generation Thermapen and used it for many years and it was amazing and wonderful.  Then I bought a MkII and for a couple of years, at least, it's been amazing and wonderful!  I'm with @Carolina Q that this is the first I've ever heard of problems with Thermapens!  I also have an IR thermometer from the same company, and it's been going for years with no problems.

    The company was so great when I asked them a beginner's question, years ago, I really think they'd probably take good care of you if you had a problem.

    I just read a review of instant-read thermometers, forget who it was by, but it seems to me it was someone I knew and respected, and sure enough, Thermapens came out on top.

    I bet there are a TON of Thermapens being used on this forum, and it's probably not surprising if a few of them are duds.
  • DobieDobie Posts: 2,366
     My MK4 has been great   :i_dunno:
    Not playing well with others in Jacksonville FL
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 11,922
    edited June 12
    My backlight thermopen intermittently works these days. The backlight never worked correctly and isn’t very bright when it does work.  I’m with the “I’ll never buy another one” crowd. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,770
    I have no idea what thermopen version I have other than it is the fastest...That said, it is six plus years old (no fancy back light or other glow in the dark accessories) and works every time (original battery).  I cal check it whenever I do the drill with the dome thermos (around every 4-6 weeks) and use it as the reference.
    Also acquired a Lava Tools flash sale Javelin pro which is just as accurate nd quick-nothing but excellent performance with both.  FWIW-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 11,922
    RRP said:
    Sounds like the expected QC isn't what it used to be. I'd bet dollars to donuts that the new ones are from China. I have 1 older and 1 "newer" Thermapens which are both now 15 and 11 years old. Both are still using the original batteries that came with them!

    OTOH I bought one of the first of their "TimeSticks" and also a "TrioTimeStick" and both of those crapped out and to the companies credit both were replaced. BUT both of those replacements crapped out as well.


    Even worse. Mine was made in the UK. 
     Does it leak oil
    Or have a positive ground 
  • Man I must have the luck of the Irish. 

    Mine has been through the laundry, rainy nights on the grill, and one unfortunate pool accident and the backlight is still working and it is always on point for temp after 2 years. 

    Its the grilling equivalent of the 1980s “My Buddy” doll IMO. 

    "Brought to you by bourbon, bacon, and a series of questionable life decisions."

    South of Nashville, TN

  • EoinEoin Posts: 1,522
    My first without the backlight did have some problems, but it had been abused by my autistic boy opening the probe too far (against the stop) several times. It was stiff to open and intermittent in operation. I dismantled it and the O ring seemed to have been stretched so it was getting caught. I cleaned and re-seated it, but not perfect. I put it down to abuse. It still works but is a bit stiff to open.  The new one I bought works great, used every day. Hope it keeps going. The backlight is useful too.
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